How scandalous! Especially for a devotional homeschool blog.
I can assure you, it's much worse than it sounds.
A number of years ago Paul and I decided to have no chat about other people or non family situations in our bedroom. We were tired of having our room populated with other people and their stuff. This has kept the sanctuary of our bedroom a place of peace and rest. I really don't want to think about politicians or anyone else when I'm going to sleep, thank you so much.
Aren't we spiritual?! We'd never have an adultery problem. Or would we?
Many folks think adultery is cheating on your spouse. They aren't wrong. I think it goes deeper than that, however. I think adultery is also cheating on God. Recently I read this verse as I was thinking about keeping our sanctuary free from unwanted visitors and nearly fell on the floor.
Let not the sun go down upon your wrath. Ephesians 4:26
I began to think about Wrath taking a seat in my room before going to sleep at night. Hmm... Not pleasant, eh? I didn't relish the thought of waking up to Wrath in the rocking chair either...or getting dressed in front of him.
While most preachers will tell you this verse means not to go to bed angry, there are a number of other ways to take this. Sundown began the Jewish day in the First Century chuch, so another interpretation can be to not let wrath travel into the next day. Don't welcome Wrath into your bedroom, whether between you and your spouse or anyone else. But also don't let the light go out on your wrath, don't bury wrath so it can't be lit up by truth, don't hide it in the dark, which reminds me of another scripture.
Men don't come to the light because their deeds are evil. Paraphrased from John 3:20.
Ever meet a thief who wants to hear you tell them how to stop stealing? Umm, no. They want to steal so they don't want to hear you say it's wrong. They refuse to come to the light.
Wrath stems from unforgiveness and if left unchecked by the light of the Word, it will morph - into murder.
Are you a murderer? I don't know. Have you ever spoken evil about someone? God links that to murder because it steals the person's reputation and can shut them off from a community. Some aptly describe it as murder with the tongue. Have you ever cut someone out of your heart? There are times when it's godly not to have contact with some people, and the scriptures are clear on when those times are. But not having contact and cutting them out of your heart are two different things. God doesn't look well on this, dear ones. Not because he wants to punish us, but because he looks after our well being and if we're not in his playground, we're playing in someone else's and become easy prey.
Maybe it's your brother who irritates you to no end. Maybe it's your spouse. Maybe it's your pastor. Maybe it's yourself. Maybe it's your congregation or your neighbor.
Whomever it is, they are sleeping with you.
The sun is going down on your wrath and it's sitting in the chair in the corner of your room when you wake up - pretty soon you will ignore it and be flabbergasted when someone points it out to you.
God does know what he's talking about and his way will work. Of course it seems counter intuitive, his ways are not our ways. But when we try to protect ourselves, from anyone or anything, what we're really saying is that God isn't able to. Forgiveness cures you from taking Jesus' place.
Peter asked Jesus how many times he had to forgive someone suggesting seven times. I read a commentary recently that said the Children of Israel had a rule that you forgive someone three times but not the fourth. Doesn't that sound like "Screw me once shame on you, screw me twice shame on me."? Apparently Peter thought seven times was right because obviously three times wasn't.
He was in for the shock of the century. Jesus told him seventy times seven which is 490 times. I can just hear Peter stuttering "Wh-wh-what?!"
That is an Orientalism meaning we are to forgive always. Stiff consequences come to us when we don't. Some of those consequences are tormentors who refuse to leave your bedroom, figuratively speaking. Ever think something was one way and it turned out it was completely the opposite? Unforgiveness blinds you to what's really going on.
Unforgiveness left unchecked in your heart will come out of your mouth and lead to murder. Murder with the tongue, murder in the heart and sometimes physical murder. This is how that nice guy down the street can come home from work one day and kill his family, shocking the neighborhood. Unforgiveness took up residence in that house long before murder did.
What's the way out? Repent. That amazing five letter word! Repent for unforgiveness. It will change your life.
Proverbs 29:8 says scornful men bring a city into a snare: but wise men turn away wrath.
Want to bless your city? Repent for scorn and turn away wrath with wisdom. Your city will prosper and you'll be taking spiritual responsibility. God will reward you for such things. What we do in secret he rewards us for openly.
I wonder what it would be like if we all repented for unforgiveness. I think mountains would shift across the universe. I for one try to do it routinely. In 2004 I had a revelation of repentance and forgiveness that irrevocably changed my life and I haven't stopped preaching it yet. I have lived my life at the butt end of many men's sins. I'm not alone, we all do in one way or another and all of us have suffered from Adam's sin.
Whose sin affects you? Everyone's. Forgiving them changes it all and opens up the miraculous to you from God Almighty. Give it a whirl and be sure to share the miracle reports. Jesus paid it all at the Cross for us. What have we got to lose, except some unwanted visitors in our bedrooms?
So, who are you sleeping with tonight?
Make it God and your spouse only and you will have a restful sanctuary and live a protected life. He's not slack concerning his promises.
photo credits: morguefile.com